Tervel 1

Prosopography of the Byzantine Empire
FloruitE VIII
Dates702 (taq) / 719 (ob.)
Variant NamesTerbelis;
LocationsHippodrome (Constantinople);
Bulgaria (officeplace);
Bulgaria (residence);
Anchialos (Thrace)
TitlesKaisar (office);
Ruler of the Bulgars (office)
Textual SourcesLiber Pontificalis, ed. L. Duchesne, Le liber pontificalis. Texte, introduction et commentaire, 2 vols. (Paris, 1886-92); re-issued with 3rd vol. by C. Vogel, (Paris, 1955-57) (chronicle);
List of Old Bulgar Rulers, printed in Runciman, First Bulgarian Empire, Appendix II, p. 273 (list);
Nicephorus, Breviarium Historiae, ed. C. Mango, Nikephoros, Patriarch of Constantinople: Short History; prev. ed. C. de Boor Nicephori ArchiepiscopiConstantinopolitani Opuscula Historica Leipzig 1880 (history);
Paulus Diaconus, Historia Gentis Langobardorum, ed. L. Bethmann and G. Waitz, MGH, Scr. Rer. Lang., pp. 12-187; also in MGH, Scr. Rer. Ger. 48, pp. 49-242 (history);
Theophanes Confessor, Chronographia, ed. C. de Boor, 2 vols. (Leipzig, 1883-85, repr. Hildesheim/NewYork, 1980); tr. and comm. C. Mango and R. Scott, The Chronicle of Theophanes Confessor, Oxford 1997 (chronicle);
Zonaras = Ioannis Zonarae Epitome Historiarum, libri XIII-XVIII, ed. Th. Büttner-Wobst, (Bonn, 1897) (history)
Seal SourcesOikonomides, N., A Collection of Dated Byzantine Lead Seals (Washington, DC, 1986);
Zacos, G. and Veglery, A., Byzantine Lead Seals, vol. I (in 3 parts) (Basel, 1972).

According to the List of Old Bulgar Rulers, p. 273, his name was Tervel 1 and his family name was Dulo; the length of his reign was twenty-one years ("Tervel, 21 years, his race Dulo, and his years tekuchitem tvirem"); Runciman, First Bulgarian Empire, Appendix II, p. 277 (for the chronology). He was ruler of the Bulgars from 702 to 718/719; see Grumel, Chronologie, p. 388.

Ruler of the Bulgars living near the Danube, in 704 he granted a request from the exiled emperor Justinian II (Ioustinianos 1) for help to regain his throne; he was promised the hand in marriage of the emperor's daughter, Anonyma 15; he armed his people and in 705 marched against Constantinople, camping outside Blachernai; after the restoration of Justinian II (Ioustinianos 1), Tervel 1 was rewarded with an imperial cloak and the title of Kaisar and sat next to the emperor in the hippodrome to be adored (possibly meaning "acclaimed") by the crowds before returning home laden with gifts (χλανίδα τε περιβάλλει βασιλικὴν καὶ Καίσαρα ἀναγορεύει, καὶ συμπάρεδρον ποιησάμενος προσκυνεῖσθαι σὺν αὐτῷ ὑπὸ τοῦ λαοῦ ἐκέλευε: Nic. Brev. de Boor 42, Mango 42:60-63; πολλὰ δῶρα δοὺς τῷ Τέρβελι καὶ βασιλικὰ σκεύη: Theoph. AM 6198): Nic. Brev. 41-42, Mango 42, Theoph. AM 6196, AM 6197, AM 6198, Zon. XIV 24. 12-14, 25. 1, cf. Lib. Pont. 88. 4 (Justinian regained his throne, travelling "a partibus Chazariae per loca Vulgariae cum Terveli usque ad regiam urbem"), Paul. Diac., Hist. Lang. VI 31 (Justinian regained his throne "auxilio Terebelli Bulgarum regis"). In 707 he was attacked by Justinian II (Ioustinianos 1) but defeated him near Anchialos: Theoph. AM 6200. Ruler of the Bulgars in 711, he sent an army of three thousand to help Justinian against Philippikos 1: Nic. Brev. de Boor 47, Mango 45.

Tervel 1 was the owner of a seal, which records him as Kaisar: Zacos and Veglery 2672 = Oikonomides, Dated Seals, pp. 38-39, no. 26. The obverse has a portrait of Tervel 1; on the reverse is a cruciform monogram of Θεοτόκε βοήθει and the inscription: Τ - ερβελλι - ου - κ[αι]σαρ[ος ]. The date must be in or soon after 705; cf. Oikonomides, Dated Seals, p. 39.

Tervel 1 probably made a peace treaty with the Romans in 715/716, recorded at Theoph. AM 6305 but there attributed to the Bulgar ruler Kormesios 1; the treaty was agreed under Theodosius III (Theodosios 2) and the patriarch Germanos (presumably therefore between the consecration of Germanos 8 in August 715 and the overthrow of Theodosios 2 in late 716) and was later recalled by Krum 1 in 812. The name of Tervel 1 should probably be restored in the text in place of that of Kormesios.

In 718 Tervel 1 gave military and financial aid to Artemios (the former emperor Anastasios II, Anastasios 6) in his bid to regain the throne; the attempt ended when the Bulgars turned against Artemios (Anastasios 6) and handed him over to the emperor Leo III (Leo 3): Theoph. AM 6211 (but cf. Rochow, Theophanes, p. 101).

The name of his successor is unknown (see Anonymus 30). See further Runciman, op. cit., pp. 30-34.

For further references, see Patria Const. 40, 6-9, 244, 6-9; Suda s.v. βασιλικη and s.v. βουλγαροι (Adler 459, 21 and 483, 22).

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